• Royals have two eights at Henley

    Royal Chester senior men’s squad finished a very successful Summer 2017 regatta season by racing two eights in the Thames Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. The first eight had already won the senior eights race on both days at Metropolitan Regatta and the second eight took club eights at Marlow Regatta. Metropolitan and Marlow are two of the most prestigious regattas other than Henley itself and this is the first time a Royal Chester eight had won at Marlow since 1928.

    At Henley there was an entry of 50 crews for the Thames Cup from the UK and internationally. So although the Club’s first eight pre-qualified the second eight had to compete in a qualifying race to reduce the number of boats to 32. They rowed a brilliant race and were believed to be one of the fastest qualifiers. This meant that Royals was the only club outside the River Thames to have two crews racing in the Thames Cup, another first for the club.

    The second eight having qualified were handed a tough draw and raced a seeded crew from Oslo. The crew of Dave Barstow, Will Jordan, Tom Millington, Harry Ballard, Borna Banafshe, Dan Weatherly, Tim Hopkins, Matt Webb and cox Abi Sanders put up a great fight but lost out by one and a half lengths.

    In the first round the first eight raced a strong crew from local club Upper Thames containing a number of ex junior internationals and a Henley finalist. Royals rowed a brilliant race leading from the off and withstanding a strong challenge from Upper Thames as they rowed past their own club house. In the end Royals pulled out to win by almost one boat length. On Thursday Royals came up against a seeded German crew from Hamburg. Royals again lead from the start and won by 2/3 of a length. On Friday they came against another seeded crew, Thames Rowing Club, but this time were unable to repeat their success losing by 1 ¾ boat lengths. The Royals first eight was made up of Jack McGarva, Alex Constaninou, Tom Rushton, Harrison Hunter, Joe Fletcher Hunt, Pete Dean, Harry McGarva, Fraser Morgan and cox Sarah Armstrong.

    The performances cemented Royals position of one of the best Rowing Clubs for senior men outside London.

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